New Charitable Fund to Assist Young Aviators

By Jessica Hubbard, Placer Community Foundation  |  2019-07-12

Auburn Aviation Association scholarship recipient Renata Mackenroth. Courtesy Auburn Aviation Association

AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Auburn Aviation Association (AAA), a nonprofit organization, began in 1984 as a small group of pilots and airport enthusiasts dedicated to aviation safety, friendship and community involvement. Now with more than one hundred members, the years since have been a tribute to their foresight and dedication. They offer mentor and scholarship programs for youth and young adults interested in the aviation professions. With AAA’s commitment to support this work in perpetuity, a new endowment fund at Placer Community Foundation has been established.

“The partnership with the Placer Community Foundation is a very exciting move for us!” states Doug Fee, President of the Auburn Aviation Association. “For decades, the Auburn Aviation Association has had the privilege of helping youth of high moral character and a desire to learn pursue careers in aviation however, fundraising has always been a struggle. With the establishment and ultimately the full funding of the Auburn Aviation Association Endowment Fund, we will be able to continue that support of our aviation-minded youth for years and years to come.”

Special to the work of AAA has been one particular scholarship honoring national hero, local resident and member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Col. Bud Anderson. A retired officer in the United States Air Force and a triple ace of World War II, Anderson was the highest scoring flying ace in his P-51 Mustang squadron during the war. Earnings from this new fund will support future scholarships and forever memorialize Anderson’s tremendous aviation legacy.

“We are proud to offer the Col. Bud Anderson Scholarship as part of our education programs,” states Fee. In his honor we work to identify individuals in the aviation professions with qualities such as situational awareness, humility, self-confidence and good communication skills.”

Endowments are permanent funds at Placer Community Foundation where gifts are pooled and invested to achieve long-term capital growth. As the fund grows, a portion is distributed annually to benefit the charitable work of organizations like Auburn Aviation Association.

“The efforts of AAA have benefitted and been enjoyed by so many in our community over the years, states Veronica Blake, CEO for Placer Community Foundation. “We are very pleased to be a conduit to further their charitable work for generations to come.”

Placer Community Foundation (PCF) offers a variety of ways for the community to contribute and grow the Auburn Aviation Association Education Endowment Fund. A lasting gift through your will or trust is an easy and effective way to contribute. To contribute today, options include: giving online at placergives.org, making a gift by check payable to PCF, appreciated stock, through a qualified Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other tangible property. Please contact the Community Foundation directly at 530-885-4920 to learn more.

Placer Community Foundation grows local giving to strengthen community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, and the environment. The Community Foundation provides regular trainings and technical assistance for the many local nonprofits that are experiencing growing public demand for programs and services. To learn more about establishing charitable funds, visit placergives.org, contact Jessica Hubbard at jhubbard@placercf.org, or call 530-885-4920.

 

Donate Three, Non-Perishable Food Items and Get in for Free

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of its ongoing community giving efforts, SMUD is sponsoring Giving Mondays at the Fair, an effort to collect needed items for the Elk Grove Food Bank. SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will accept three non-perishable, non-expired items per person in exchange for a free ticket into the California State Fair before 3 p.m. The first 5,000 people in the gates will also receive a free drawstring backpack.

“This partnership is a great way to give back to those in our community who need it most,” said Rhonda Staley-Brooks, SMUD’s community development manager. “Last year, this effort collected 28,000 pounds of food, and this year we hope to surpass that. It’s these types of community efforts that help lift up our entire community and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will be on Monday, July 15th and Monday, July 22nd. Visit the booth by the Blue Gate to drop off your food items and receive a free ticket to the Fair.

The Elk Grove Food Bank is in need of the following items: Canned Meat (Chicken or Tuna), Peanut Butter, Disposable Adult Briefs, Ensure, Baby Diapers, Socks – All Sizes, Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Soup, Beans, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Packaged Rice, Top Ramen and Cereal.

For more information about SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair, visitcastatefair.org/smudgivingmonday, and to learn more about SMUD’s community giving, visit smud.org/en/in-our-community.

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit SMUD.org.

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Food Festival Passes on High Demand, More on Order

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State fairgoers appear to be hungry for more excitement, as this year’s brand new Fair Food Festival Pass sold so fast, that more were ordered even before the Fair opened its gates. The California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened this morning at 10 a.m. with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get in.

“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival and the new Food Festival Pass are just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”

The Food Festival Passes have been so popular that more have already been ordered for visitors to the fair in the weeks to come. People who purchase the Food Festival Pass can select four items from more than 30 different food vendors – including appetizers, entrees desserts, and more – all for only $28, (a $40 value). Nearly 30 food vendors created new food items for this year’s State Fair. A list of what you can get can be found here.

The Food Festival Pass can be purchased at the State Fair Box Office, Guest Services or at select State Fair Souvenir Shops. Food Festival Passes purchased online are picked up at the State Fair Box Office, prior to entering the Fair. It can be used by anyone, any day of the State Fair. The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July  28th at Cal Expo.

Fairgoers are also encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the CA State Fair app where they can map out all of their eating adventures. 

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019. 

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First Annual Capital Creative Showcase

By Nathan Allshouse, Sacramento Developer Collective  |  2019-07-15

Showcasing Video Games and Art from the Capital Region

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sacramento Developer Collective is proud to announce the first annual Capital Creative Showcase event, featuring ‘women in games’ coming to the West Sacramento Community Center on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.

The theme for our inaugural event is “Women in Games” and will include speeches and panels featuring Michelle Hill from 2K Games and Coraly Rosario from Scopely. There will also be panels on women in esports and the business of game development, featuring Aryn Rozell from NRG SF Shock and Donna Walters and Carrissa Darby from Sacramento State’s Stingers esports club, as well as Kelsey Coffman from Bay Area Women in Games, Ashley Silva-Howe from EA Capital Games, and Kara Greenfield from Midnite Lunch Studios. The keynote speech will be delivered by Laura Good, co-founder of Startup Sac.

The event will spotlight the 2019 cohort for our premiere Progressive Game Jam program including the games Evocus: The Summoner’s GameBike Route: SacramentoThe Lonely ZombieSpace Uber, Zexa Xeza Warrior Princess of the Cosmos, and Luminous Flux. Meet the teams behind these games and get an exclusive chance to play them before they release.

Our showcase will also feature the capital region’s indie video game developers, artists, and creative talents including Lucre Games, Tronix Productions, Just Ice Cold, Byte Me Games, Double Dog Games, Agilapathy, Midnite Lunch Studios, Andrew Davis Digital, Dawn Pedersen, Zach Winn, Olsisax Art, and many more.

General admission is $15 online, $20 at the door on the day of the event. Kids 12 and under are free. To purchase tickets, and for a complete and updated list of participants in this year’s event, check the event website at www.capitalcreativeshowcase.com.

Sacramento Developer Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in 2018, and was founded in 2007 as a Meetup.com group for Sacramento video game developers. Our mission is to grow the video game developer industry in greater Sacramento, and to support the overall creative economy. We host many events including educational workshops, the Sacramento Global Game Jam, the Progressive Game Jam, and community gatherings. Our website is www.sacdevcollective.org. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramMeetup.com, or LinkedIn.

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California State Fair Announces Food Festival Competition Winners

By Sabrina Washington, Cal Expo  |  2019-07-15

Best of Show: Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls. Photo Courtesy of CA State Fair

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The California State Fair held its inaugural Food Festival Competition on Saturday, July 13. With 30 food vendors participating in the competition, judges tasted more than 30 items and gave out awards in five categories: Side, Dessert, Fruity, Fried, and Entrée. There were two Best of Division winners, and one ultimate Best of Show winner.

The top prize went to Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls for their Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll.

Any of these food items can be purchased with the Food Festival Pass. For only $28, the buyer receives four tickets which can be turned in to any participating Food Festival stand for the Food Festival item.

For its first year, the Food Festival has been a success. The Food Festival Pass sold so well that it had to be reordered before the 2019 CA State Fair opened. Click here to purchase a Food Festival Pass. Below is the full list of winners.

Best of Show
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

Best of Division - SAVORY
Elote Fries - Sharky’s

Best of Division - DESSERT
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

SIDE
Gold:
Roasted Chicken Taquitos - Pepe's Pollo Vaquero
Elote Fries - Sharky’s

Silver:
Italian “Alps” Nachos - Pignotti’s Gourmet Snacks
Loaded Tator Tots - Golden Bear Grill

Bronze:
Frik’n Vegan Nachos - Frik’n Vegan
Orange Chicken Fries - Pon's Chinese Food

DESSERT
Gold:
Cookie Dough Sundae - Pizza
Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

Silver:
Chimney Cake Cone - Chimney Cake Cones
Cotton Candy Bunny - Sweet Art Cotton Candy
Oreo Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich - Monster Cookies

Bronze:
Oreo Sundae - Suck It Up
Spicy Chocolate Covered Bacon - The Bacon Habit
Unicorn Kettle Corn - German Kettle Popcorn

FRUITY
Gold:
Mangonada Shaved Ice - Shaved Ice

Silver:
Strawberry Pineapple Shortcake Sundae - California Ice Cream Company
Ice Cream in a Pineapple - Ice Cream in a Fruit

Bronze:
Green Monster Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Roll
Passionate Pineapple Smoothie - Ice Cream in a Fruit
Pina Colada Smoothie - Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

FRIED
Gold:
Deep Fried Caramel Apple Pie - J & L Sweeties

Silver:
Deep Fried Chicken Skins - Eat at Joe’s
Milo’s Monster Corndog - Milo’s 

Bronze:
Deep Fried Banana Hot Dog - Hot Doggin'
Deep Fried Fanta - Sweet Cheeks Fried Treats
Pizza Funnel Cake - Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes
Jalapeno Corndog - Rainbow’s End/Candytown
 

ENTREE
Gold:
Burnt Tri Tip Ends Sandwich - Eat at Joe’s

Silver:
Beef Taco Salad - The Original State Fair Soft Taco
Chicken or Carne Asada Taco Plate - Fiesta’s Mexican

Bronze:
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak - Frik’n Vegan
Grizzly Mac Attack Mac & Cheese - Montana Q BBQ
Hot Cheeto Chicken Burrito - Chili Peppers
Cap’n Crunch Chicken Sliders - Boss Burger

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12 - 28, 2019.

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 AUBURN, CA (MPG) – A $1.2 million road resurfacing project took a step forward with the Placer County Board of Supervisors approving a contract with Pavement Coatings Company of Northern California to execute the project. County staff is working with the contractor to begin work as soon as possible.

The board in May voted to approve a list of roads for treatment with the highest traffic and need. More than 22 miles of roads in western Placer County will be resurfaced under the contract.

The project is county funded and will be in addition to the road rehabilitation projects funded by the county’s $7.3 million share of Senate Bill 1 revenue planned this year.

In July 2017, Nichols Consulting Engineers completed an assessment report of Placer County roads, which classified them in "fair" condition. The classification rating is based on the pavement condition index used as an industry standard across the state and nation to categorize road conditions.

The new projects will help to improve the county’s road health and overall condition rating from “fair” to “good” on the PCI scale.

 

 

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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Placer County is looking for volunteers willing to foster kittens until they are old enough to return to the Animal Services Center for adoption. Interested parties should contact 530-886-5531 or email smullane@placer.ca.gov to obtain more information and sign up.

“This time of year we are inundated with kittens, and would greatly appreciate anyone willing to open their homes to these little ones for a short time,” said program manager Katie Ingram. “With your help we can save more lives.”

Since April 1, Placer County Animal Services has taken in 296 kittens. There are currently 75 underage kittens waiting at the shelter to find foster homes. Most are healthy and do not require special medical care, though potential foster families willing to take on kittens with special needs are also welcome and will receive extra support.

Placer County Animal Services partners with local nonprofit Kitten Central to care for neonatal kittens who are so young they must be bottle fed or require other specialized care. But many other kittens simply need a safe, temporary home until they are old enough for adoption - at about eight weeks old or when they are over two pounds. A shelter is not an ideal environment for younger kittens whose immune systems are not yet built up and who need regular interaction with people to be social and adoptable.

Fostering a kitten comes with no obligation to adopt, though foster families will receive priority if they wish to adopt their foster kitten. Training, food and supplies are provided. Watch a video here to learn more about foster requirements.

Animal Services also has many cats and kittens ready for adoption, and through July 6 adoptions are just $10 during our yearly “Adopt-A-Palooza” special discount event. Placer County Animal Services is located at 11232 B Avenue in Auburn, or view adoptable animals online at placer.ca.gov/animal.

If you are unable to foster or adopt, donations are also accepted online at placer.ca.gov/animal.

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AUBURN, CA (MPG) - Plans to connect North Lake Tahoe with a shared-use trail moved forward today with the Placer County Board of Supervisors approving a $240,000 contract with Nichols Consulting Engineers of Reno to design a 1.7-mile reach of the project.

The North Tahoe Shared-Use Trail is the regional trail envisioned to connect North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista to the Dollar Creek Trail near Tahoe City. When complete, the trail will provide a continuous path on Lake Tahoe's north shore for pedestrians and cyclists.

Design and construction of the trail will be phased in three segments. The approved contract is for preliminary design and environmental documentation for 1.7 miles linking the North Tahoe Regional Park with Carnelian Bay Avenue. The proposed trail alignment will use existing public trail easements and public land parcels from the U.S. Forest Service and California Tahoe Conservancy. No private property easements are expected to be needed to complete the project.

The board in October 2018 approved funding in the amount of $400,000 for this project as part of the list of projects recommended for guest lodging tax funding by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee.

Community feedback opportunities on the trail alignment are anticipated to take place in spring 2020.

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Eppie’s Race is Back On

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-07-11

Great American Triathlon organizers are business partners Ken McGuire (left) and Dan Niccum.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Businessman Ken McGuire last year feared was the end of an era when the “final” Eppie’s Great race was announced.

Co-founder of Innovations Health Systems – a network of heath-centered services and facilities in the Bay Area – McGuire (52) never actually competed in the annual event.

“I felt it was too great a tradition to let die,” he explains. “People came here from all over the USA to compete. Eppie’s was a boost for our national profile. We Sacramentans talked about the great race in the same conversation as Kings Basketball games and the California International Marathon. It helped charities. For all sorts of good reasons, keeping Eppie’s alive seemed critical.”

Now, thanks to McGuire, the world’s oldest triathlon has not quite ended, after all. Steered by the Sacramento businessman, the contest that the late Eppie Johnston began in 1974 has new branding. From the starting gun July 20, and for future summers, it will be run as The Great American Triathlon. The endurance epic will again follow the American River Parkway in foot, bicycle and kayak stages. While benefitting charities, it will endure as one of our area’s great summer events.

Via many meetings and phone calls, McGuire persuaded major Eppie’s supporters to keep paddling. In January, Sacramento County gave approval for the new parkway event.

Capital City Road Management will continue to manage the race. Former volunteers have rallied, and more than 20 companies have agreed to co-sponsor. McGuire’s business partner, Carmichael resident Dan Niccum, is onboard for brand development.

The new race will continue restauranteur Eppie Johnston’s philanthropic drive that raised more than a million dollars for non-profits over 48 years. “Our fundraising for the American River Parkway Foundation and children’s health charities is important,” confirms McGuire. “We hope to write big checks for good causes. But above all, we want to maintain a community event that defines summer in Sacramento.”

The world’s oldest triathlon will set a cracking pace through the accustomed river stretches of Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova. Starting line is at William Pond Park. Athletes will follow a six-mile route to the Guy West Bridge near CSUS, and then grab bikes to pedal 12 miles to the beach below Sunrise Boulevard (Fair Oaks). There is no swimming stage; contestants will board kayaks, brave the San Juan Rapids and follow the river downstream to Rancho Cordova. Thousands of supporters, onlookers and volunteers traditionally cheer athletes through all stages. Après-race celebrations will include live music, food trucks and a beer garden beside the River Bend Park finish line.

Entry in the Great American Triathlon costs $40 for athletes 18 and under; $150 for adult competitors; junior relay is $110; adult relay is $225. Tandem water craft admission is $300. Contestants may use rented kayaks. For information, go to www.greatamericantriathlon.com

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain Prepares for Fall Opening

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-07-11

A rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. Image provided by Zimmerman Agency

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Opening this fall as Hard Rock’s first Vegas-style casino in California, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain recently announced its top-tier executives. “I’m very impressed with the caliber of experience of our executive team. They have over 200 years of combined gaming experience,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “We attracted very capable individuals from around the country.”

“This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of in my entire career. They are all experts in their fields,” said Birtha. “We’re a beacon for the area. Wheatland might not have been on their radar, but now they are excited to build long-term interaction with the community.” The executives will all be relocating to the Greater Sacramento Region and will be working on site in Wheatland every day.

Christopher Balaban, vice president of finance, has an MBA and over 20 years of gaming experience in Las Vegas, Florida, and the Bahamas. In addition to prior VP of finance roles, he led hotel and food and beverage operations, giving him a diverse operational background.

Ryan Flieger, vice president of human resources, has worked with Hard Rock since 2012. He held leadership roles at hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas, and he worked on several Hard Rock expansions. Flieger has experience in talent acquisition and retention, training, and culture setting.

Anika Gaskins, vice president of marketing, has an MBA and was recently the VP of national marketing for MGM Resorts as they opened a new $1 billion casino property. Gaskins has worked in various marketing roles in casinos from Canada to Las Vegas, developing marketing initiatives and increasing revenue.

Paul Mollo, vice president of table games, has almost 40 years of gaming experience and has been working with Hard Rock for more than a decade. Mollo used his expertise to help HBO Productions create authentic scenes of casino gaming on “The Sopranos”.

Matthew Morgan, vice president of information technology, has more than 20 years of experience in gaming technology. He has an MBA, and he has worked in Las Vegas and in local casinos Red Hawk and Thunder Valley. Morgan focuses on bringing mobile products to the casino market.

Will Provance, vice president of slot operations, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in restaurants, entertainment, hotel operations, and casino gaming. He has an executive certificate in customer-driven marketing, an MBA in international hotel and tourism management, and a Master of Science in hotel administration with a concentration on gaming.

Kaywan Samadani, vice president of hospitality, has worked at casinos in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Missouri, and Ohio. Samadani has extensive restaurant and casino hospitality experience — working as a chef, director of food and beverages, director of hospitality, and VP of casino services.

Birtha said they will be taking occupancy of the administrative offices, kitchens, security offices, and surveillance and storage areas in early July. Then they’ll start moving in the furniture, equipment, and gaming tables. “Everything is on schedule and on budget,” said Birtha. “Our company has had that vision to stay focused.”

Hard Rock also just launched a social gaming app: Hard Rock Social Casino. “It’s a way to engage loyal Hard Rock followers and allow them to interface with the casino before it opens,” said Birtha. The free “social casino” will give people a taste of the gaming experience on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. Payment is not required to play, and winners earn virtual credits. Players can select Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain as their casino for the chance to win real-world prizes and promotions to use when the casino opens this fall.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain advertising campaign is also launching soon, with large outdoor billboards, social and digital marketing, and TV and radio ads. Birtha said, “This will be our formal introduction to the region, from Tahoe to San Francisco.” Birtha was also proud to announce some of Hard Rock’s local partners: Toyota Amphitheatre, Sacramento River Cats, Sac Republic FC, and Golden 1 Center.

Birtha said that Hard Rock has a “philanthropy of social engagement” and is committed to hiring local people and building partnerships with local vendors to bring in produce, wine, and art. For information about upcoming hiring and vendor fairs, visit www.hardrockhotelsacramento.com.

 

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